Ag Innovation Showcase Presents: Kaiima Bio-Agritech
Avi Maidenberg explains how Kaiima helps seedbanks expand their genetic diversityShow transcript
The Ag Innovation Showcase offers a platform to innovators across the agricultural value chain. Kaiima Bio-Agritech helps seedbanks expand their genetic diversity. Avi Maidenberg discusses the forces that have narrowed the diversity of agricultural germplasm over the years, and how Kaiima’s process can speed up and enhance the traditional breeding process. Registration is now open for the Ag Innovation Showcase 2017: visit www.agshowcase.com.
Avi Maidenberg: So over time, diversity is diminished. And as there’s been more and more consolidation around the seed industry over the last 20 years or so, that genetic diversity has narrowed significantly. And so, our technology really helps sort of expand that again.
We create diversity within the plant genome, using its own DNA. So essentially, we partner with the seed companies in the world that have robust breeding programmes, and have elite genetics, and we help them expand the scope and the potential of that germplasm, or the varieties that ultimately are found in the farmers’ fields. Which leads to improved yields, improved resistance to different diseases, drought tolerance, and a host of other different outcomes that our programmes, with our partners, are delivering.
Our process is a proprietary chemical, physical, and selection process. So it’s actually a treatment that we do on the seed. We then plant that seed in the field, and use a proprietary process to select the specific plants that are giving all these enhanced characteristics.
The way that breeding happens in a structure, it’s all about crossing two different lines in order to try and develop offspring plants that have the best characteristics of both parents. And that’s how classic breeding has been done for generations.
The problem with that is that there are bottlenecks in that process, and you don’t always just obtain the best characteristics of the parents. But the benefits of our technology is really just applying it to an elite line, and then being able to obtain those offsprings or that diversity while preserving the essence of that original material.
So it’s, think of it as taking a great product and making it a little bit better.